Spain's Gas Natural approves merger with Union Fenosa
Spanish energy group Gas Natural, which bought electrical utility Union Fenosa last year, reported a 37.1 percent rise in first-half profits Tuesday due to a revival in electricity demand in Spain.
Profits during the period hit 853 million euros (1.1 billion dollars) "driven by the recovery in demand for energy in Spain and, in particular, to earnings on the disposal of gas distribution assets in the Madrid region," it said in a statement.
Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) -- a key measure of profitability -- rose 48.1 percent to 2.38 billion euros "mainly as Union Fenosa was not fully consolidated until April 30, 2009."
The net profit during the second quarter rose to 467 million euros, an increase of 73.6 percent over the same time last year.
A survey of analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires had expected an average second-quarter net profit of 563.8 million euros.
© 2010 AFP